NEWS



TFC and CFO Take Partnership Further in 2015 for Overseas Filipinos

CFO gears up for 2015 Regional Summit in Europe and YouLeaD forum in the Philippines after successful Global Summit, co-presented by The Filipino Channel


Source:

The Filipino Channel (TFC)
http://tinyurl.com/p64opek


April 1, 2015 (Quezon City) - Right on the heels of their successful partnership for the 3rd Global Summit of Filipinos in the Diaspora (3GS) in February at the historic Manila Hotel, the Commission on Filipinos Overseas (CFO) and ABS-CBN The Filipino Channel (TFC), are gearing up for more partnerships for the overseas Filipinos in 2015.   

Looking forward as one
CFO Secretary Imelda Nicolas announced that the participation of the diaspora in local and international policy formulation and program implementation towards development, as tackled during the visioning exercise of the 3GS, will be further discussed in two upcoming conferences: the 2015 European Regional Summit in Cagliari, Italy during the third quarter of the year and the Youth Leaders in the Diaspora (YouLeaD) forum to be held in the Philippines in July this year.

Head of the European Network of Filipino Diaspora (ENFiD) Gene Alcantara said the organization is looking forward to the Regional Summit, the second for the diaspora council.

However, Alcantara believes that before they can look forward with a fresh outlook, there is a need to leave behind past issues and bad habits.  He cites that there is a need to “enhance our reputation as a people, to engender better community relations, and to give excellent examples.”

Rachel Hansen, Founder/Editor of Roots and Wings Online Magazine, a Scandinavian-based on-line magazine says:  “The 3GS is a special platform for the diaspora to meet; exchange ideas and best practices; and get informed, inspired, and interested in various local and global issues that need our serious attention and solution.”

Meanwhile, the YouLeaD forum, scheduled later this year will again gather young Filipino community leaders all over the world to share best practices and discuss the issues they themselves face as part of the Filipino diaspora. Lou Cabalona, 2012 Filipino-American Young Leaders of the Philippines awardee looks forward to the youth summit and says: “There are so many stories we have to tell - stories that celebrate our uniqueness and acknowledge our contributions to the world.

3rd Global Summit of Filipinos in the Diaspora: Highlights
During the 3GS, the largest and most significant gatherings of community leaders of Overseas Filipinos (OFs), CFO Chairperson Nicolas, said that the milestone attendance of nearly 500 OFs from 30 countries resulted in a deep collaboration across sectors, including media, and across countries.  

“We have moved out of comfort zones to explore how and where we can make a difference.  We have confronted self-imposed restricting constructs of our egos and faced brave new worlds whether here in our country or in others.”  

Synergy with other government agencies
As a result of the two-day summit, OFs made a unified call for greater involvement in key issues affecting the lives of OFs.  Specifically, OFs want more involvement in the local government policy through Overseas Voting, lead agency of which is the COMELEC and with the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) implementing arm.

Global Filipino Diaspora Council President Atty. Loida Lewis and the US Pinoys for Good Governance President Atty. Rodel Rodis, reported how they helped lobby in the Philippines for the passage of the Dual Citizenship Law and the Overseas Voting Act in 2013.  Thus the Filipino diaspora’s involvement in the formulation of national policies is both significant and strategic.   

The role of media
Lewis and Rodis added that they also hope to become involved in international issues affecting OFs.  The USPGG is currently active in protesting the threat of the overtaking of the Spratlys and hope to do more lobbying for other issues, with the help of media.

During the 3GS, ABS-CBN Integrated News and Current Affairs Senior Vice President Ging Reyes talked about how transnationalized media plays a crucial role in bringing these issues to the front and center of the stage.  She shared how during her stint as ABS-CBN International News Bureau Chief, she overcame personal challenges as an OF herself in order to be able to empathize with her subjects and bring the news to viewers of TFC.  She said: “I got to know hundreds of Filipinos...who left the homeland to seek a better future for their families.  I told their stories even as I felt their pain and shared their aspirations."    

Civil society in unity
Aside from international affairs, OFs cited the need for a system where they can easily channel and monitor their resources for their many kababayans in need and network with other interested parties.

MENFID’s (Middle East Network of Filipino Diaspora) Interim Head Fidel Escurel said the creation of an OF hospital will help them consolidate healthcare for Pinoys in Qatar and hopefully across the Middle East.  

Secretary Nicolas hopes that the global one-stop portal for Overseas Filipinos diaspora engagemement,BaLinkBayan, can answer many of the needs articulated during the 3GS.

CFO, with the support of TFC and other partners, hope to fulfill what it started in the 3GS.


About ABS-CBN Asia Pacific

The Filipino Channel (TFC) started to reach out to Filipinos in the Asia-Pacific via its satellite service in Guam in 1996.  Since then, it has reached out to Filipinos across the Asia Pacific through entertainment, information, and special events.  Under ABS-CBN Australia Pty Ltd., TFC is currently distributing ABS-CBN channels and content through various business partners in countries in Asia such as: Guam, Hong Kong, Singapore, American Samoa, Marshall Islands, Malaysia, Papua New Guinea, Palau, and Taiwan.  TFC also provides Filipinos a piece of home through Filipino movies’ theatrical releases in Guam, Singapore and other parts of Asia.  For more information, visit www.facebook.com/TFCGuam, www.facebook.com/TFCHongKong, www.facebook.com/TFCSingapore,andwww.facebook.com/TFCTaiwan1


Mitoy Yonting and Nicolas sistersMR Sec NicolasMR Gene AlcantaraMR Lyca GairanodLR2
From left to right: CFO Chairperson Secretary Imelda Nicolas, Global Filipino Diaspora Council President Atty. Loida Lewis with world-class performer and former overseas Filipino Mitoy Yonting at the 3rd Global Summit for Filipinos in the Diaspora (GSFD); Nicolas addressing hundreds of overseas Filipinos (OFs) during the GSFD cites more areas for collaboration amongst sectors for 2015; European Network of Filipino Diaspora head and TFC’s JuanEU Konek host Gene Alcantara shares that one more area for collaboration - the 2016 Regional Summit - will be held in Europe this year; and another “The Voice” alumni Lyca Gairanod at the GSFD summit, showcasing world-class performances that won her the first “The Voice Kids” Grand Champion title.

 TFC team with Sec Nicolas  Ging ReyesMRVisioning exerciseMR Visioning exercise2mr Visioningexcercise3MR
Second row from left to right: The TFC and myREMIT teams with Sec. Nicolas; ABS-CBN Integrated News and Current Affairs Vice President Ging Reyes speaks of her OF experience as her anchor for helping fulfill the role of TFC as transnationalized media and share the issues that concern OFs; and the results of the GSFD Visioning Exercise in visuals.

 

The OFs singing Freddie Aguilars Ang Bayan KoMR Butch AbadMR
Third row from left to right: Delegates join Yonting in expressing love for the motherland via the hymn “Bayan Ko ” during the Summit;  Secretary of Budget and Management Butch Abad with the European delegates and the Diaspora Networking Activity in action.

 
References:

MARIANNE DE VERA ABS-CBN Global Corporate Affairs and PR
global_corporate_affairs@abs-cbn.com (EMAIL)
ABS-CBN Global ELJCC, EL Drive, Diliman, Quezon City
(632) 415 2272 (LANDLINE)

  

Source:


The Filipino Channel (TFC)
http://tinyurl.com/p64opek



BalikBayanihan: The Global Filipino’s Journey

Source:

Carissa Villacorta
The FilAm Megascene
March 16-31, 2015

BalikBayanihan: The Global Filipino’s Journey
From Diaspora To Philippine Development
Social remittances to the Philippines create long-term, genuine progress

The Commission on Filipinos Overseas (CFO) gathered the country’s most influential Filipino community leaders from around the world  for the  3rd Global Summit  last  February 25-27 at the Manila Hotel

MANILA, Philippines (March 5, 2015) – In 2014, around 10.5 million Overseas Filipinos (OF) working or residing in more than 200 countries had remitted an astounding $28 billion or P1.2 trillion to the country, according to the World Bank. And yet, the Commission on Filipinos Overseas (CFO), the primary government agency tasked to protect and uphold the rights and welfare of OFs, says there’s a much more important currency that global Filipinos are sending back. They are social remittances.

Social remittances are initiatives or a way of living of Global Filipinos that create opportunities for people other than their own families. “While we appreciate the remittances of our kababayans abroad that contribute to the country’s GDP while helping support their families, their will to share their talents and passions within the homeland is their greatest gift,” said CFO Secretary Imelda M. Nicolas.

Secretary Nicolas encourages the use of the term “Overseas Filipinos” instead of “OFWs” to include people who live abroad but not for work—unlike the OFWs or Temporary Migrants who are expected to return to the Philippines after their employment contract ends. There are also the permanent residents and naturalized citizens of other countries (Permanent Migrants), and those who are not properly documented with residence or work permits and may be overstaying in a foreign country (Irregular Migrants).

As of December 2012, of the 10.5 million Overseas Filipinos, 47 percent (or 4.9 million) are Permanent Migrants, 40 percent (or 4.2 million) are Temporary Migrants and 13 percent (or 1.36 million) are Irregular Migrants.

As an agency mandated to strengthen their economic, political and social ties with the motherland, the CFO has adopted the Diaspora to Development (D2D) as a flagship program that maximizes the involvement of OFs here through 10 major areas of development interventions: Alay Dunong or transfer of skills and technology; Arts and Culture Exchange; Balik-Turo or educational exchange; Business Advisory Circle or business linkaging and mentoring; Diaspora investments; Global Legal Assistance; Lingkod sa Kapwa Filipino or Diaspora Philanthropy; Medical Mission Coordination; Tourism Initiatives; and Return and Reintegration.

In addition to this, CFO organizes a biennial Global Summit to forge partnerships among stakeholders and ensure that Global Filipinos will find it easier and more inspiring to take part in local and internationally-linked initiatives for long-term Philippine development. The 3rd Global Summit of Filipinos in the Diaspora on February 25-27, 2015 at the historic Manila Hotel was another fruitful interaction of around 600 Filipino diaspora partners and community leaders to discuss “Vision and Action for the Filipino Diaspora for 2015 and Beyond,” this year’s theme.

“We feel that we should help the community leaders of our global Filipinos to be empowered, engaged with both their host and home countries, capable of sustaining their goals and maximizing their own strengths and opportunities for partnership with each other, other diaspora groups and multi-lateral organizations – way beyond this Administration,” said Secretary Nicolas.

Some of the speakers at the 3rd Global Summit were technology incubation expert Earl Valencia and world-renowned cancer specialist Dr. Samuel Bernal. 

A graduate of Cornell University and Stanford Graduate School of Business graduate, Valencia was the Business Incubation Manager of Cisco’s Emerging Technologies Group in Silicon Valley before he went back to the Philippines before he turned 30 to co-found IdeaSpace Foundation, an incubation and acceleration initiative for technology entrepreneurs which has touched over 100,000 lives in less than three years.

“Coming back to the Philippines after more than 10 years in the US is one of the most difficult yet rewarding decisions for me and my family,” said Valencia. “We did it because we hope that maybe in our lifetime, our kids will say they are from the Philippines in the US or in Europe and people will remember our country as a place where great innovators live.”

Another Global Filipino who is making a name for the country is Dr. Samuel D. Bernal, world-renowned cancer specialist and regenerative medicine pioneer, who is also a lawyer specializing in Regulatory Law and Medical Malpractice, a PhD and MBA degree holder, the head of the Institute of Personalized Molecular Medicine and consultant adviser for Regenerative Medicine Program of The Medical City, Professor Emeritus of Medicine at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), and the author of various books on oncology and cancer research, and a director of various business organizations and foundations. He is also a cancer survivor.

Dr. Bernal is a devoted advocate of personalized, customized diagnosis and care of patients. He won a landmark case in 2008 representing a patient who died in the hands of doctors who used standard-of-care procedures and population-based statistics instead of looking at the unique case of the patient.

“The enduring feature of the Global Summit has always been the sharing of stories among overseas Filipinos themselves – about their experiences, their successes and their dreams for the future,” said Secretary Nicolas. “These stories create the bridge towards stronger networking and diaspora engagement. This makes the Global Summit something to watch out for because it is not a mere traditional gathering of overseas Filipinos. It is much more than that. It is a celebration of the vibrant and ever-renewing Filipino spirit.”

The Third Global Summit of Filipinos in the Diaspora is co-presented by The Filipino Channel (TFC). Major and minor sponsors are: The Medical City, Department of Tourism – Tourism Promotions Board, Vibal Group of Companies, Western Union, Philhealth, PAG-IBIG, Philippine Retirement Authority, Meralco/PLDT Foundation and Megaworld. Partner agencies are Metro Manila Development Authority and Skyway O&M Corporation. Media partners include ABS-CBN, ABS-CBN News Channel (ANC), Philippine Star, Manila Bulletin, Business World, Philippine Starweek Magazine, Panorama Magazine, Balikbayan Magazine, DZMM and RMN. 

- end -

About the Commission on Filipinos Overseas

Established in June 1980 through Batas Pambansa 79, the Commission on Filipinos Overseas (CFO) is an agency of the Philippine Government under the Office of the President tasked to promote and uphold the interests, rights and welfare of Overseas Filipinos, and strengthen their ties with the Motherland.

The CFO registers and provides pre-departure orientation seminars to emigrants. It also promotes the transfer of technology as well as material and financial contributions from overseas for development projects in underserved communities all over the Philippines. It also provides younger generations of Filipinos overseas with opportunities to learn Philippine history and culture.

About the 3rd Global Summit of Filipinos in the Diaspora

Considered as one of the largest and most significant gatherings of overseas Filipino community leaders, the Third Global Summit will bear witness to the homecoming of hundreds of Filipinos from all over the world.

On February 25-27, 2015 at the historic Manila Hotel, hundreds of Overseas Filipinos; local and international experts; and government, non-government and private sector partners share and exchange inspiring insights, experiences, achievements and innovations and come up with a collective vision and action plan for the Filipino diaspora to achieve its full potential.

Through workshops and exercises, the Global Summit aims to produce a clear vision and strategic action plan for Filipino diaspora communities for 2015 and beyond, and how the government, civil society organizations, academe and private sector can maximize its partnerships with the overseas Filipinos towards common objectives, and vice versa: Diaspora to Development (D2D).

About Secretary Imelda M. Nicolas

Secretary Imelda M. Nicolas was appointed in 2010 as Chairperson of the Commission on Filipinos Overseas (CFO), a cabinet-level Secretary position under the Office of the President of the Philippines. Since 1980, the CFO has been mandated to maintain strong and mutually beneficial ties between the country and Filipino communities throughout the world and to promote and protect the welfare, the interests and well-being of Filipinos overseas.

Prior to her appointment to the CFO, she was former Secretary of the National Anti-Poverty Commission (NAPC), former Chairperson of the National Commission on the Role of Filipino Women (NCRFW), and Presidential Assistant helping cabinet secretaries in monitoring implementation of major government-funded infrastructures.

She is currently chair of the Women’s Business Council of the Philippines. She is a member of the Board of the following institutions: ASA Foundation, the fastest growing-microfinance institution (MFI) in the Philippines; Tanghalan Pilipino, the resident theater company of the Cultural Center of the Philippines, and The Lewis College, a family-owned school in Sorsogon City. Last December 2014, she was recently appointed as a part of the Migration Advocacy Board of the International Organization for Migration (Geneva) by the IOM Director General William Lacy Swing himself.

For media inquiries, please contact:

Carissa Villacorta / Pauline Mangosing / Rocel Ann Junio
Mobile:
 +63917-595-5480 / +63922-817-1293 / +63923-369-6398
E-mail: carissa.villacorta@gmail.com / pauline.mangosing@gmail.com / rocelann.junio@gmail.com

(Click here for the PDF format)


Source:


Carissa Villacorta
The FilAm Megascene
March 16-31, 2015


CIAL REPORT: BalikBayanihan, The Global Filipino’s Journey From Diaspora to Philippine Development

Source:

The Filipino Australian
http://www.thefilipinoaustralian.com/news/index.php/2015/03/10/balikbayanihan-the-global-filipinos-journey-from-diaspora-to-philippine-development/


MANILA – In 2014, around 10.5 million Overseas Filipinos (OF) working or residing in more than 200 countries had remitted an astounding $28 billion or P1.2 trillion to the country, according to the World Bank. And yet, the Commission on Filipinos Overseas (CFO), the primary government agency tasked to protect and uphold the rights and welfare of OFs, says there’s a much more important currency that global Filipinos are sending back. They are social remittances.

Social remittances are initiatives or a way of living of Global Filipinos that create opportunities for people other than their own families.

simn02-26-2015

“While we appreciate the remittances of our kababayans abroad that contribute to the country’s GDP while helping support their families, their will to share their talents and passions within the homeland is their greatest gift,” said CFO Secretary Imelda M. Nicolas on opening day of the 3rd Global Summit of Filipinos in the Diaspora (February 25-27) at the Manila Hotel.

Secretary Nicolas also encourages the use of the term “Overseas Filipinos” instead of “OFWs” to include people who live abroad but not for work—unlike the OFWs or Temporary Migrants who are expected to return to the Philippines after their employment contract ends.

BAbad02-26-2015There are also the permanent residents and naturalized citizens of other countries (Permanent Migrants), and those who are not properly documented with residence or work permits and may be overstaying in a foreign country (Irregular Migrants).

As of December 2012, of the 10.5 million Overseas Filipinos, 47 percent (or 4.9 million) are Permanent Migrants, 40 percent (or 4.2 million) are Temporary Migrants and 13 percent (or 1.36 million) are Irregular Migrants.

As an agency mandated to strengthen their economic, political and social ties with the motherland, the CFO has adopted the Diaspora to Development (D2D) as a flagship program that maximizes the involvement of OFs here through 10 major areas of development interventions: Alay Dunong or transfer of skills and technology; Arts and Culture Exchange; Balik-Turo or educational exchange; Business Advisory Circle or business linkaging and mentoring; Diaspora investments; Global Legal Assistance; Lingkod sa Kapwa Filipino or Diaspora Philanthropy; Medical Mission Coordination; Tourism Initiatives; and Return and Reintegration.

In addition, CFO organizes a biennial Global Summit to forge partnerships among stakeholders and ensure that Global Filipinos will find it easier and more inspiring to take part in local and internationally-linked initiatives for long-term Philippine development.

The recently concluded 3rd Global Summit of Filipinos in the Diaspora at the historic Manila Hotel was another fruitful interaction of around 600 Filipino diaspora partners and community leaders to discuss “Vision and Action for the Filipino Diaspora for 2015 and Beyond,” this year’s theme.

group1 group2 group3

“We feel that we should help the community leaders of our global Filipinos to be empowered, engaged with both their host and home countries, capable of sustaining their goals and maximizing their own strengths and opportunities for partnership with each other, other diaspora groups and multi-lateral organizations – way beyond this Administration,” said Secretary Nicolas.

photo1 photo2 photo3 photo4

Some of the speakers at the 3rd Global Summit were technology incubation expert Earl Valencia and world-renowned cancer specialist Dr. Samuel Bernal.

A graduate of Cornell University and Stanford Graduate School of Business graduate, Valencia was the Business Incubation Manager of Cisco’s Emerging Technologies Group in Silicon Valley before he went back to the Philippines before he turned 30 to co-found IdeaSpace Foundation, an incubation and acceleration initiative for technology entrepreneurs which has touched over 100,000 lives in less than three years.

BTweddell“Coming back to the Philippines after more than 10 years in the US is one of the most difficult yet rewarding decisions for me and my family,” said Valencia.

“We did it because we hope that maybe in our lifetime, our kids will say they are from the Philippines in the US or in Europe and people will remember our country as a place where great innovators live,” Valencia added.

Another Global Filipino who is making a name for the country is Dr. Samuel D. Bernal, world-renowned cancer specialist and regenerative medicine pioneer, who is also a lawyer specializing in Regulatory Law and Medical Malpractice, a PhD and MBA degree holder, the head of the Institute of Personalized Molecular Medicine and consultant adviser for Regenerative Medicine Program of The Medical City, Professor Emeritus of Medicine at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), and the author of various books on oncology and cancer research, and a director of various business organizations and foundations. He is also a cancer survivor.

Dr. Bernal is a devoted advocate of personalized, customized diagnosis and care of patients. He won a landmark case in 2008 representing a patient who died in the hands of doctors who used standard-of-care procedures and population-based statistics instead of looking at the unique case of the patient.

“The enduring feature of the Global Summit has always been the sharing of stories among overseas Filipinos themselves – about their experiences, their successes and their dreams for the future,” said Secretary Nicolas.

“These stories create the bridge towards stronger networking and diaspora engagement. This makes the Global Summit something to watch out for because it is not a mere traditional gathering of overseas Filipinos. It is much more than that. It is a celebration of the vibrant and ever-renewing Filipino spirit.”

photo5 photo6 photo7 photo8
photo9 photo10 photo11 photo12
photo13 photo14 photo15 photo16

The Third Global Summit of Filipinos in the Diaspora is co-presented by The Filipino Channel (TFC). Major and minor sponsors are: The Medical City, Department of Tourism – Tourism Promotions Board, Vibal Group of Companies, Western Union, Philhealth, PAG-IBIG, Philippine Retirement Authority, Meralco/PLDT Foundation and Megaworld. Partner agencies are Metro Manila Development Authority and Skyway O&M Corporation. Media partners include ABS-CBN, ABS-CBN News Channel (ANC), Philippine Star, Manila Bulletin, Business World, Philippine Starweek Magazine, Panorama Magazine, Balikbayan Magazine, DZMM and RMN. (Carissa Villacorta / Pauline Mangosing / Rocel Ann Junio)


Source:


The Filipino Australian
http://www.thefilipinoaustralian.com/news/index.php/2015/03/10/balikbayanihan-the-global-filipinos-journey-from-diaspora-to-philippine-development/




Vision and Action For The Filipino Diaspora

Source:

Philippine Daily Inquirer
by Atty. Rodel Rodis
http://globalnation.inquirer.net/119428/vision-and-action-for-the-filipino-diaspora/#ixzz3U2UbgTi1

400x301xglobal-summit-Rodel-300x225.jpg.pagespeed.ic. fABpKDzz- ZudTaBp55
INQUIRER.net columnist Rodel Rodis speaking at the 3rd Global Summit of Filipinos in the Diaspora February 25-27. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO


(Speech delivered at the opening plenary session of the 3rd Global Summit of Filipinos in the Diaspora held at the Manila Hotel, February 25-27, 2015).

The theme of this year’s Summit, “Vision and Action for the Filipino Diaspora 2015 and Beyond,” has the stated goal of “providing a venue for continued networking and convergence of the Filipino diaspora councils” in order to “craft a common vision and development action plan for the Filipino Diaspora communities for 2015 and beyond.”

We have convened our global Filipino Diaspora summits almost every other year since 2002 when we first came together at the Moscone Convention Center in San Francisco. Since then, we have met in Cebu, Honolulu, Sydney, Rome and, for the last five years, here in Manila. When we started, there were representatives from only a few countries. Today the 600 registered delegates gathered here represent more than 30 participating countries.

400x267xGlobal-Summit-Abad-300x200.jpg.pagespeed.ic.0g9J4K8XYj2ifDM0Bvgd
Global Summit leaders with CFO Chair Imelda Nicolas (second from left) and Budget Secretary Butch Abad (4th from left). CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

We are set to meet again in 2017 but the venue is not certain. Our last three global summits have been held in Manila sponsored by the Commission on Filipinos Overseas (CFO) under the inspired leadership of Secretary Imelda Nicolas who believes as we do that Filipinos abroad should be seen “not just as a remittance sender but more of an active participant in the Philippines socio-economic-political development”. Unfortunately, her CFO term coincides with that of Pres. Benigno S. Aquino III whose presidency ends on June 30, 2016.  Thank you, Sec. Mely Nicolas and your CFO staff, for all your work to empower the Filipino diaspora.

Not our final global summit

A new president will be inducted into office on July 1, 2016 and he or she will then appoint a new head of the CFO. If the new president and the new CFO Secretary are opposed or indifferent to continuing support for the Filipino Diaspora, then this may be our last CFO-sponsored global summit. But it will not be the end of our biennial global summit of Filipinos. We will meet again in 2017 only perhaps not in Manila.

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Filipino American delegation meeting with Pres. Cory Aquino in 1986. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

As we confront the prospect of where we will meet two years from now, let us look back at the Filipino diaspora and reflect on where we have been and why we need to continue to empower ourselves as a global Filipino diaspora movement.

Diaspora is generally used to describe historic mass dispersions of people with common roots. It has also been defined as a transnational community of people with a shared identity as a singular ethnic group created by a forced or induced historical emigration from an original homeland.

Prof. Jonathan Y. Okamura from the University of Hawaii views the global Filipino diaspora as an imagined community where Filipinos, wherever they may be in the world, “are aware of one another’s presence and of the bonds of culture, national identity, custom and tradition that they share.”

History of the Filipino diaspora

When Spain began its colonization of the Philippine Islands in 1565, it conscripted native Filipinos (Indios) to build Manila galleon ships that would ply the trade route from Manila to Acapulco and to also serve as sailors on those ships. Once in Acapulco, many of the Filipino mariners chose not to return to Manila but instead to work on other ships that traveled to Spain and other ports in Europe.

In an 1892 editorial in La Solidaridad published in Barcelona, Spain, Editor Graciano Lopez Jaena noted the large presence of Filipino mariner communities in cities throughout Europe and as well as in Philadelphia, New York and New Orleans in the U.S.

Filipinos who jumped ship in New Orleans set up Filipino settlements in the marshlands of Barataria Bay, Louisiana — pioneering the dried-shrimp industry in the US –that became the subject of Lafcadio Hearn’s 1883 article published in Harper’s Weekly entitled “The Mahogany-Colored Manilamen of Louisiana.”

After the Philippines was annexed by the U.S. in 1901, starting from 1906 through 1925, more than 125,000 Filipino workers were brought to the U.S. by the Hawaiian Sugar Planters Association to work on the sugar cane fields of Hawaii and then brought to the mainland to work on other crops in the farm valleys of the U.S.

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Some of the delegates at the 3rd Global Summit at Manila Hotel. INQUIRER.net PHOTO

After WW II, and through the ‘50s and ‘60s, tens of thousands of Filipinos were recruited to work on U.S. Navy ships as stewards. After the liberalization of U.S. immigration laws in 1965, at least 50,000 Filipino professionals and petitioned relatives of immigrants annually migrated to the U.S.

Much later, after martial law was declared in the Philippines in 1972, Filipinos were encouraged to work abroad, especially in the Middle East, in order to remit their salaries back to the Philippines to prop up the fragile economy. A new term entered the Philippine vocabulary –first, Overseas Contract Workers (OCWs) and then later, Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs).

$26.93 billion annual remittance to PH

According to data released by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP), personal remittances from overseas Filipinos in 2014 set an all-time high for the Philippines at $26.93 billion, breaking the previous record of $25.35 billion posted in 2013. December of 2014 set the record for the highest monthly OFW remittance at $2.6 billion.

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North American attendees at the Summit. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

Ricardo B. Ramos observed that “the Philippines is probably the only country in the world that has institutionalized the deployment of its people to work overseas, from professionals and skilled workers to domestic help” since 1995, sending more than one million Filipinos annually to work abroad.

Now with about 14 million Filipinos in the diaspora, the concept of the Filipino nation has changed. The old view that it refers exclusively only to those living within its land area boundaries is now obsolete. As former Chief Justice Artemio Panganiban noted, “interactive news websites, cable TV programs, social networks like Facebook and Twitter, cell phones, Skype, Magic Jack, e-mails, teleconferencing and other electronic wonders no longer require actual physical presence to acquire thorough knowledge of Philippine political life.”

Yes, overseas Filipinos know what is going in the Philippines but do Filipinos in the Philippines know or care about what is going on in the Filipino diaspora?

In a 2003 Supreme Court decision, Justice Antonio Carpio commented that overseas Filipinos “are modern-day heroes and saviors of the economy. Their blood, toil, tears and sweat have propped up the Philippine peso through all the recurring financial crises that have battered the nation.”

Not just remittance senders

That appears to be all that Filipinos in the Philippines know about Filipinos in the diaspora. We are “remittance senders,” “saviors of the Philippine economy.” But do they know or care that thousands of Filipino OFW women are routinely raped by their employers in the Middle East? Do they know or care that some Philippine diplomats, instead of protecting our OFWs, even prey on them and demand and extract sex in exchange for emergency housing and funds to return back to Manila?

Two months after Marcos was deposed by People Power in 1986, Pres. Cory Aquino invited anti-Marcos Filipinos in America to visit her in Malacanang to express her appreciation for what overseas Filipinos did to help restore democracy back to the Philippines.

In that meeting, she asked us what she could do for us. On behalf of our group, I told her that we only have two requests: her support for overseas Filipinos to have the right to vote in Philippine elections and her support for dual citizenship to allow overseas Filipinos who have become citizens of their host countries to reacquire or retain their Philippine citizenship.

I told Pres. Cory Aquino that suffrage for overseas Filipinos would allow us to have a voice in the good governance of the country, in the election of leaders whose decisions affect overseas Filipinos and their families in the Philippines. It woul dalso compel Philippine politicians to consider the needs and sentiments of overseas Filipino voters.

Suffrage for overseas Filipinos

Pres. Aquino told us she would study dual citizenship, but she expressed enthusiastic support for suffrage for overseas Filipinos. A year later, in the 1987 Philippine Constitution, she included as Article V, Section 2 the provision that: “The Congress shall provide a system for securing the secrecy and sanctity of the ballot as well as a system for absentee voting by qualified Filipinos abroad.”

Despite her support, it would take another 16 years before the Overseas Absentee Voting Act would pass the Philippine Congress and be signed into law by Pres. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo on February 13, 2003.

Unfortunately, that bill contained a “poison pill” that required absentee voters to sign an affidavit of intent to return to the Philippines within three years or face penalties of up to a year in jail, a provision that effectively killed any enthusiasm for overseas voting. It would take another decade of intense lobbying before this insane and onerous provision would be removed in an amended overseas voting bill that was signed into law by Pres. Benigno S. Aquino III on May 27, 2013.

But the damage was done. Because of this provision, which showed contempt for the “bagong bayani” (new heroes), only 850,000 overseas Filipinos have registered to vote and only a small fraction of that have actually voted.

VIDEO

An empowered Filipino diaspora

We had hoped that if at least five million overseas Filipinos registered and voted, we would represent a significant portion of the electorate and constitute a major good governance force in Philippine politics. But that has not happened. The only way we can reach that goal is if the Philippines provided for Internet voting for overseas Filipinos especially for the 500,000 Filipinos who work in cruise ships and maritime cargo vessels. Given how long it takes to get anything to pass the Philippine Congress, it is not likely Internet voting will be enacted in time for the 2016 elections.

That is our challenge: how to be a significant force in the 2016 presidential elections despite our low voting numbers. How do we leverage our almost $27 billion a year in remittances to the Philippines to influence Philippine voters to support candidates endorsed by and supportive of the interests of OFWs?

We should ask the candidates what they plan to do to safeguard and protect our OFWs. We should ask the presidential candidates if he or she intends to continue the CFO’s support for the Filipino diaspora and our biennial summits.

The India diaspora model

One day, if we work for it, the Philippine government will develop an enlightened view of the Filipino diaspora just as the Indian government has of its diaspora. In 2004 India established the Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs (MOIA) to connect the Indian diaspora community with its motherland, viewing the 25 million Indians in the diaspora not just as “remittance senders” but as “an important ‘bridge’ to access knowledge, expertise, resources and markets for the development of the country of origin.”

“The success of this bridge is often predicated upon two conditions: the ability of the diaspora to develop and project a coherent, intrinsically motivated and progressive identity and the capacity of the home country to establish conditions and institutions for sustainable, symbiotic and mutually rewarding engagement. Home countries are now beginning to recognize the need to pursue and promote the dynamic of the diaspora and development.

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More than 600 expatriates from all over the world came to the Summit. INQUIRER.net PHOTO

“India’s engagement with its diaspora is symbiotic, the strands of both sides of the relationship equally important to create a resilient and robust bond. To engage with the Diaspora in a sustainable and mutually rewarding manner across the economic, social and cultural space is at the heart of the policy of the Ministry.”

One day, there will be genuine overseas Filipino representatives in the Philippine Congress. One day, the Filipino diaspora will be seen by the Philippine government as an integral part of the Philippines and included in the programs of all the executive departments and not just of one governmental agency.

One day, our Global Summit of Filipinos in the Diaspora will have delegates from more than 100 countries and it will be attended by the president, cabinet members, senators, representatives all wanting to know what they can do to serve our needs.

That day will come, and it will come sooner than we think.

(Rodel Rodis is the President of the Global Filipino Diaspora Council (GFDC) which plans to organize Filipino Diaspora conferences and Diaspora councils in all the continents from Europe to the Middle East, Asia, Oceania, Africa and North America. Send comments to Rodel50@gmail.com).


Source:

Philippine Daily Inquirer
by Atty. Rodel Rodis
http://globalnation.inquirer.net/119428/vision-and-action-for-the-filipino-diaspora/#ixzz3U2UbgTi1




CFO Advertorial - 3rd Global Summit 2015 (The Philippine Star)

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(click on image to enlarge)

Source: 

The Philippine Star
Feb. 25, 2015 






‘Overseas Filipinos Help in More Ways Than One’

Source:

by:   Jerry E. Esplanada
Inquirer.net
http://globalnation.inquirer.net/118878/overseas-filipinos-help-in-more-ways-than-one/
February 21st, 2015


MANILA, Philippines—Aside from an estimated $28 billion in remittances from overseas Filipinos in 2014, another $44 million in cash and materials were sent to the Philippines by Filipinos based abroad following Supertyphoon “Yolanda,” (international name: Haiyan) according to Commission on Filipinos Overseas (CFO) Chair Imelda Nicolas.

In a statement, Nicolas said: “While we appreciate the remittances of our kababayan abroad that contribute to the country’s (gross domestic product) while helping support their families, their will to share their talents and passions within the homeland is their greatest gift.”

Nicolas said that “more than financial remittances, global Filipinos continue to show their psychic link to the motherland through the so-called social remittances.”

She recalled President Aquino in his first message to the nation in 2010, citing the 10.5 million Philippine nationals based abroad when he referred to the “oft-neglected yet real contribution of Filipinos in the diaspora to the life and welfare of societies in which they live.”

“This contribution is not only to the host countries where they live and work but also to their motherland,” Nicolas said.

She said that next week, a number of overseas Filipino community leaders will come home for the Third Global Summit of Filipinos in the Diaspora on Feb. 25 to 27 at the Manila Hotel.

The gathering, she said, aims to “produce a clear vision and strategic action plan for Filipino diaspora communities for 2015 and beyond, and how the government, civil society organizations, the academe and the private sector can maximize their partnerships with overseas Filipinos towards common objectives and vice versa.”

Nicolas has invited President Aquino to “welcome the delegates and acknowledge their role in the country’s development.”

“Tourism Secretary Ramon Jimenez has graciously accepted to join us on the last day and officially close the summit,” she said.

Nicolas said that “the enduring feature of the Global Summit has always been the sharing of stories among overseas Filipinos themselves, about their experiences, their successes and their dreams for the future.”

The CFO, she said, came up with the Diaspora to Development program to “lay out 10 areas of engagement where the Philippine diaspora can become development partners of various stakeholders.”

“These are the Business Advisory Circle, Alay Dunong sa Bayan, Diaspora Philanthropy, Diaspora Investment, Balik-Turo, Tourism Initiatives, Global Legal Assistance and Advocacy, Medical Mission Coordination, Return and Reintegration and Arts, Culture and Educational Exchanges,” she said.

 

Source:


by:   Jerry E. Esplanada
Inquirer.net
http://globalnation.inquirer.net/118878/overseas-filipinos-help-in-more-ways-than-one/
February 21st, 2015




PHL to Welcome Hundreds of Overseas Filipino Leaders in Diaspora Global Summit

Source:

Posted by:   The TFA Staff
The Filipino Australian
http://www.thefilipinoaustralian.com/news/index.php/2015/02/23/phl-to-welcome-hundreds-of-overseas-filipino-leaders-in-diaspora-global-summit/
February 23, 2015


The Philippines this week will welcome hundreds of overseas Filipino community leaders to the Third Global Summit of Filipinos in the Diaspora to be held from February 25 to 27 at the historic Manila Hotel.

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The biennial international conference, organised by the Commission on Filipinos Overseas (CFO) under the Office of Philippine President, is considered as one of the largest and most significant gatherings of overseas Filipino community leaders.

CFO Secretary and Chairperson Imelda Nicolas said in a media statement that, “Around 600 delegates composed of Filipino community leaders, members and partners of Filipino diaspora councils, past Presidential Awardees, selected local partners from government, multi-lateral agencies, academe, private sector and civil society are expected to attend the event.”

 

With the theme, “Vision and Action for the Filipino Diaspora for 2015 and Beyond”, the summit aims to provide a venue for continued networking and convergence of the Filipino diaspora councils especially those in the Middle East and Europe which were formed in previous summits, Ms Nicolas said.

cfo sec imn2015

Currently, Filipino diaspora councils and organisations affiliated with the CFO’s Global Filipino Diaspora Council (GFDC) are established in North America, Oceania, Europe, Middle East and Asia.

As of 2012, there are approximately 10.49 million overseas Filipinos spread out in more than 210 countries, according to CFO reports.

The summit also aims to “present the Philippine Government’s/CFO’s current initiatives to promote the interest of overseas Filipinos, and to develop a common vision and action plan for the Filipino diaspora communities for 2015 and beyond,” Ms Nicolas continued.

Essay writing contest

Winners of the international essay-writing contest under the theme “Overseas Filipinos and Their Impact on the Philippines” will also be announced during the summit.

The winners of the contest, sponsored by US Pinoys For Good Governance (USP4GG), will also be presented their awards during the summit, said USP4GG Essay-Writing Contest organiser and chair of USP4GG Marianas Chapter Dr Celia Lamkin.

USP4GG also sponsored the first international essay-writing contest in conjunction with the Second Global Summit held in Makati two years ago.

Australian participation

Global Filipinos Australia president and GFDC vice-president Lolita Farmer OAM is head of the Australian delegation. She will also present the region’s future diaspora development projects.

Ms Farmer, one of the signors of the GFDC charter, said that Australian Ambassador to the Philippines Bill Tweddell was invited to the summit.

“This is is the first time our Australian Ambassador was invited”, aaid Ms Farmer adding that the invitation is a recognition of the growing importance of the region in the diaspora.


Source:


Posted by:   The TFA Staff
The Filipino Australian
http://www.thefilipinoaustralian.com/news/index.php/2015/02/23/phl-to-welcome-hundreds-of-overseas-filipino-leaders-in-diaspora-global-summit/
February 23, 2015




Honoring Filipino Excellence


Source:


By Johnny Litton
BUSINESS CHIC
(The Philippine Star)
February 16, 2015
http://www.philstar.com/business-usual/2015/02/16/1424056/honoring-filipino-excellence


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President Aquino delivers his congratulatory remarks during the awarding ceremonies of the 2014 Presidential Awards for Filipino Individuals and Organizations Overseas

A number of distinguished and outstanding overseas Filipinos and foreign-based organizations were honored during the awarding ceremonies of the 2014 Presidential Awards for Filipino Individuals and Organizations Overseas held at the Malacañan Palace. The 33 awardees were commended for their personal and professional achievements as well as their contributions to the development of the Philippines and the welfare of their fellow Filipinos everywhere. Spearheaded by the Commission on Filipinos Overseas (CFO), the Presidential Awards is a biennial search institutionalized in 1991 through Executive Order 498 and has four categories – Kaanib ng Bayan Award, Lingkod sa Kapwa Pilipino Award, Banaag Award, and Pamana ng Pilipino Award. Leading the conferment ceremony was H.E., President Benigno Aquino III and assisted by CFO chairperson, secretary Imelda Nicolas while several foreign dignitaries and government officials including US ambassador, H.E. Philip Goldberg and Commission on Higher Education (CHED) chairperson Dr. Patricia Licuanan were also present during the event. Congratulations and more power to the 2014 Presidential Awards recipients!

(Click here to view screenshot of actual write-up on Philippine Star Business, C3, February 16, 2015)

Source:


By Johnny Litton
BUSINESS CHIC
(The Philippine Star)
February 16, 2015
http://www.philstar.com/business-usual/2015/02/16/1424056/honoring-filipino-excellence